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Washington 11, Us 10, Sarah Shourd 10, America 9, U.s. 8, Sarah 7, Cnn 7, California 7, Julia 5, Cuba 5, Delaware 5, Tehran 5, Iran 5, Obama 4, John Boehner 4, Jim Greer 4, Shane 4, Tom Joyner 4, Barbara Starr 4, Texas 4,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. New.  

    September 14, 2010
    11:00 - 1:00pm EDT  

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back-to-school pep talk with the nation's students. coming up, a chat with a virginia teacher who was face-to-face with the president on monday. cuba's seismic shift. a half million government workers getting pink slips. gornlg i'm tony harris. those stories and your comments right here right now in the cnn newsroom. a tea party favorite and a gop candidate locked in a tight race, a long-time congressman battles ethics charges and five opponents. it is primary election day in seven states and the district of columbia. we are spotlighting the hot races. paul steinhauser joining us live from washington, d.c. paul, delaware and, let's say, new hampshire top our list because of what we like to call the tea party factor. >> reporter: you are absolutely right. this last big round of primaries this year, and you've got that
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kind of crisis going on there on the republican side in the primaries. tea party backed candidates and conservative candidates taking on and gaining strength at the expense of the mainstream republican candidates. long-time did republican candidate mike castle is being challenged by christine o'donnell, backed by the tea party express is gaining strength. this could come down to the wire. this would be a huge victory for the tea party if she wins. in new hampshire, something similar as well. you have the former attorney general up there of new hampshire, kelly ayotte, backed by the establishment republicans, but a guy called oh vid lamontagne, run before up there, he is a conservative and outsider. he is gaining strength. if he wins, another big victory for the tea party movement. also in new york, rick lazie is
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running to government but another guy is gaining strength on him. a real story line. >> is there any possible backlash for the establishment gop? >> reporter: yeah, there could be a backlash. no doubt about it, the tea party movement has had a lot of success in the primary. here's what could happen is some of these candidates that are nominees could be maybe a little too out of the mainstream, to extreme, too conservative for the moderate and independent voters who dominate on november 2nd. we'll find out if there's a backlash or this is helping the republican party. >> let's see here, new york, we have charlie rangel plus five challengers, and, of course, the upcoming ethics trial. how is he expected to do tonight, paul? >> reporter: charlie rangel, check this out, a nice story by mary snow. never had problems in the primaries before. he's sweating it out. been in congress almost 40 year,
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facing five challengers, including the son rangel beat 40 years ago, but because of all of these ethics problems it could be pretty close tonight. >> appreciate it. other big stories we're following for you -- the lawyer for american sarah shourd tells cnn she has been released and assumes she is with officials from the swiss embassy. she was arrested while hiking in iraq. a former european intel officer tells cnn an informant fed reliable details on osama bin laden for years after 9/11. the source says it gave the cia a clear map of osama bin laden's movements in pakistan, but the intel was always a few days behind. the informant went silent in 2004. president obama is going to give a back-to-school address at a magnet school. the speech will be streamed live
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on the white house website to schools later this hour. senate democrats pushing a vote for next week to repeal the military's don't ask don't tell policy. barbara starr is here with more on the story. where do things stand on this, let's face it, highly controversial issue? >> reporter: well, tony, as you just pointed out, the senate democrats now say they will bring this all to the floor of the senate next week. it's going to happen when they take up the defense spending authorization bill, the huge pentagon defense budget. attached to that is the provision that would repeal don't ask don't tell, the ban on gays and lesbians to openly serve in the u.s. military. so they're going to take it to a vote next week as part of the authorization bill, and, of course, the pentagon wants to see that authorization bill passed. that's very critical to them right now. there is some opposition to all of this from some senate
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republicans. the house has already passed the measure, so if it passes the senate, they would get together and have the final agreement, but it wouldn't necessarily mean the ban is immediately repealed because there is still a process by which president obama has to certify that it wouldn't impact troop moral unduly, and this all comes at a time when a federal judge has already ruled that the ban is unconstitutional. >> barbara starr at the pentagon for us. appreciate it. thank you. hurricane igor is no longer alone in the atlantic. rob marciano has his eyes on two hurricanes. good morning. >> good morning, tony. overnight, hurricane julia developed from a tropical storm. it's way out there in the atlantic, but igor continues to steal the headlines as far as the size and shape of this thing. look at that monster storm beginning to make a northerly turn. we have the updated forecast track from the national
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this site has a should i try priceline instead? >> no it's a sale. nothing beats a sale! wrong move! you. you can save up to half off that sale when you name your own price on priceline. but this one's a deal...trust me. it's only pretending to be a deal. here, bid $79. got it. wow! you win this time good twin! there's no disguising the real deal. american hiker sarah shourd spent more than a year in an
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iranian prison. a few hours ago she was released. she was accused of illegally crossing the border while hiking in iraq. reza is with us from pakistan. after more than a year, why was she finally let go? >> reporter: well, tony, iranian officials are citing her medical condition. a representative from sarah shourd's family told us earlier that recently she discovered a growth in her breast, and they earlier told us she was suffering from a pre-existing gynecological condition, so when a senior prosecutor from tehran came out on sunday and announced iran was willing to release her on a half million dollars on bail money, that's the reason they cited, and the release took place late this afternoon iran time. we are learning new information about her release. her lawyer said he went into the prison this afternoon, signed her release prison, and they
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walked out and she was handed over to swiss officials because tehran and washington do not have diplomatic relations, it is the swiss embassy in tehran that is playing the role of mediator in this matter. he lawyer telling us she was in good spirits. she was smiling but she did say it was her wish that her companions, the other two u.s. hikers were with letter. the six prison officials who got her release gathered around her to wish her well and say good-bye. one made light of the moment telling her he didn't want to see her back in the prison any time soon. >> let's listen to the iranian prosecutor. i believe we have sound here. >> we came to this conclusion that because of the situation that she was staying in, we decided to kind of give some assistance from detention. we decided to set her free from
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the $500,000 bailout, and dark the representatives of this lady who accepted to bail her out. it was paid out in an iranian bank, and the money was paid there, and she -- the judge issued the release order and miss shourd was simply set free, and she can leave iran if she wants to. >> and, reza, i think we heard a little bit of the conversation there about a bail being paid. can you confirm that a bail was paid? and we had heard a number as large as $500,000. >> reporter: well, you heard it from the prosecutor general there. according to him, that bail money was posted to a branch of
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the iran bank in musqat, the capital of the middle eastern country of oman, just south of iran. bail money was posted. there were some reports that sarah shourd's family were requesting the iranian government to lower that bail money, but according to the prosecutor, that didn't happen and the entire amount was posted to the bank. >> reza sayah in pakistan. appreciate it. thank you. 500,000 workers getting laid off in cuba, but the drastic loss could mean a new era for the cuban entrepreneur. ♪
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working to set opportunity in motion. bank of america. economic reform begins in cuba with a bomb shell. half a million state workers getting laid off, but there is a silver lining. cubans may finally get a chance to pursue their dreams. shasta darlington reports from havana. >> reporter: cuba says it plans to eliminate half a million state jobs over the next six months, a drastic 10% reduction in the public workforce. but the communist government says it also plans to expand the private sector, helping soak up some of those lost jobs. cuba's official labor union made the announcement in state media on monday, but back in august, president raul castro already
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warned that 1 million state jobs would be shed over five years. this latest statement makes it clear that layoffs are imminent. some cubans say they're worried that jobs they have long taken for granted will no longer be guaranteed. >> here one one do shuts another opens. >> reporter: others are hopeful they'll have freedom to work for themselves set their own prices, earning more than the of a trach state wage of $20 a month. >> i would rather be working for myself. you have more freedom. >> reporter: the state currently controls more than 90% of the economy. running everything from ice cream parlors to factories. even plumbers and birthday clowns are public workers. and it isn't clear from the statement where jobs will be shed or which sectors will see more private enterprise but the government has said it won't abandon workers. they said they could reassign them to needy areas like
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agriculture and construction. castro has already launched some moderate premarket reforms since taking over from his brother in 2006. he handed unused land over to private farmers and even given barber shops to the employees but in his latest statement, he says hundreds of thousands of workers will move to the private sector in the next couple of years. the president flying to filly to address students. i will talk to a school teacher who got face time with mr. obama on monday.so hen's the big day? oh, we got married years ago. but the point is, i fit in it. well, good for you. [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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voters making choices in seven states and the district of columbia today as primary season closes. experts are watching senate races in delaware and new hampshire as a gauge of tea party strength. >> secretary of state hillary clinton leading a second round in middle east peace talks at an egyptian sea resort today. the negotiations move to jerusalem tomorrow. pg&e says it will write checks for as much as $50,000 this week following a gas pipeline blast to cover immediate living expenses for residents forced to abandon their homes. security cameras caught the frightening moments from the explosion of that pipeline and
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these images from a grocery store show folks scrambling here. there you go. time to get out of there. hurricane igor still a category 4. take a look at these amazing views from space. rob, nasa, providing these images? >> yeah, international space station. open the old doors, and the guys are dangling out the window taking pictures. >> just stop, just stop, just stop. >> regardless, pretty cool stuff. very low altitudes where they fly. these are shots from our brand spanking new ghost 15 satellite. we launched this puppy in the spring. it is geostationary, so it doesn't move. it keeps snapping these pictures. it can be as close as one minute apart. taken yesterday when the sun was up.
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just unbelievable pictures of what is really a remarkable storm. we can, you know, stand back in awe of this thing with some confidence that it's not going to affect at least too many people. it's going to roll down some swells across the leeward islands. it will get toward the virgin islands as well and back toward the u.s., but right now you can even see a little bit of a northward shot. we've been waiting for that. even though this a beast of a storm with 145-mile-an-hour winds -- you have hurricane force winds going out 50 miles from the center, you don't want to be anywhere near this thing. here is the forecast track, west-northwest movement at seven miles an hour. that's good. we continue to make that northerly turn and get caught up in the westerly as it gets parallel with, say, the
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carolinas, and it will go toward bermuda. not sure if it will make a direct hit. not going to hit the united states. here's julia. this strengthened to a category 1 storm, winds of 85 miles per hour. it's way out there, and we are confident this is going to be what we like to refer to as a storm that sleeps with the fishes. it's a disturb ban here. i like to throw in a bit of mafioso terminology there. >> nice, rob. >> this could be carl next, and this is getting a little bit stronger as well. heading toward the yucatan peninsula. this is an area i think will be affected, and that does include south texas as we get closer toward the weekend. it may turn into our next tropical storm. certainly going to bring in flooding rains across parts of mexico, and potentially heavier rains in towards south texas. severe storms possible across
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the midsection of the country, leftover storming rolling through parts of missouri. that fire out in loveland about 20% contained. >> how are the conditions? >> not terrible. hopefully they'll get a handle on it today. >> have a good day. >> thank you. a teacher gets to talk to president obama. find out what she asked the president and how she grades his answers. access your own money. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 it'd be like every atm in the world was your atm. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 the schwab bank high yield investor checking(tm) account. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 zero atm fees. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 a great interest rate. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no minimums. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 the biggest thing in checking since checks. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 open an account at 1-800-4schwab or schwab.com.
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president obama has message for america's school children -- make the most of your education. white house correspondent suzanne malveaux live from philadelphia where the president will be speaking in about an hour and a half or so. suzanne, great to see you. >> reporter: nice to see you. >> this year there is no political outcry over this back-to-school speech? >> reporter: you know, tony, there's very little political outcry over this. it's a different mood when you think about last year. the protests and conservatives and critics that were accusing the president of spreading what they called socialist, liberal, extremist ideology -- we haven't heard that talk this year. really, what a difference a year makes when you think about it. the president is here at masterman school, a middle and high school.
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the speech will be about 15 minutes in length, but to these kids, this is like one of the best schools in philadelphia, so there's a lot of excitement around this. there are some things that we know about the speech that we expect. we anticipate he is going to talk about the need to work very hard to determine their own future. but, tony, what's interesting is it's not political but it certainly is a nod to the sign of the times. the president is specifically going to say here i know a lot of you are also feeling the strain of these difficult times, you know what's going on in the news and your own families lives, you read about it, the war in afghanistan, you hear about the recession we've been through, you see it in your parents' faces and hear is it in their voices, and he's going to say, i recognize some of you students have it tough now because maybe one parent is out of work and somebody else is working a double shift. so he is going to acknowledge that these are tough time force adults as well.
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>> so, last year, when the president gave his back-to-school speech, as you mentioned, there was a lot of controversy, a lot of yammering, stemming from gop's chair jim greer. hasn't he apologized? >> reporter: well, you know, it's interesting because i had a chance to talk to jim greer, this was last year when he was really at the epicenter of the controversial and he was insistant on saying he was not going to have his parents in school. there were a number of parents who pulled their kids out of the classroom because they felt very strongly -- or at least said so -- they believed he was spreading a message they felt was dangerous for their kids to hear. jim greer has told cnn and others that he's reversing his position. jim greer is in quite a bit of trouble with his own party, the former chair of the republican party in florida. he is now facing indictment and fraud and some other charges,
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but now he is saying, i'm quoting, unfortunately, i found that many within the gop have ratist views, and i apologize to my president for my opposition to his speech last year and my efforts to placate the extremists who dominate our party today. tony, i asked the without if they have any comment to his apology. we haven't heard back. it's interesting to note the silence, really, the silence, of the critics taking him on this speech. they are taking him on other issues, tax cuts and other things, the economy being the number one issue. >> suzanne, great to see you. thank you. it's not every day a teacher gets to meet with the president. our guest this hour got the chance in fairfax, virginia, yesterday to talk about the economy. ann cain asked the president when he thought things would actually turn around.
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>> i work for fairfax county public schools, and i haven't had a raise in two years, and i may not even have a job next year because i hear it's going to get worse before it's going to get better. do you agree with that? i know we are starting to improve and jobs are starting to come back, but how long do you think it's going to take? it sounds wonderful? >> well, first of all, you have a better chance of keeping your job in the public school systems now because jerry and jim voted to close a pretty egregious tax loophole that was innocent vising jobs going overseas and even some corporations that stood to benefit thought was ridiculous. they closed that loophole in order to fund teacher jobs and police officer jobs and firefighter jobs all across the country. >> anne kane joining us from washington. good to see you.
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thanks for your time. >> hi, tony, how are you? >> fantastic, as a matter of fact. thanks for asking. what did you think about the president and what he had to say yesterday effect specifically, on the economy? >> i was very impressed with what he said. he explained the situation in terms that me, a regular jane, can understand. very simple terms. i'm not an economist, i'm not a politician, i'm not a legislator. i'm a regular person, mom who goes to work, and he explained it so that i could understand. i appreciated that. >> are you sympathetic to the president. i'm not going to ask you if you voted for him, but are you sympathetic to the president and what he's trying to do in this administration? >> what do you mean by sympathetic? could you explain that a bit to me, tony. i don't understand what you're saying here. what are you trying to ask? >> i'm asking you if you were
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hand picked or are you a supporter of the president? >> i was not hand picked. >> okay. >> i was not hand picked. >> okay. you are a teacher, to be sure. have you been following the president's race to the top initiative? if you have, what do you think about the efforts to reform the education system in the country? >> i am an instructional assistant. i report to the reading specialist. i help her teach the kids. and i don't -- like i said, i'm not a politician. obama came yesterday. it was the chance of a lifetime. i had a great time there. i was so nervous, as i am now, and, like i said, he explained in simple terms things that i liked to hear and i wanted to hear. >> well, what specifically about -- anne, what specifically about the economy did it make more clear to you?
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can you help me with that? >> he said that we were in hard times and we're still in hard times, and it's going to take a long time to recover from this recession. and i understood why. it's -- let's put it this way, tony. i have my storage closet at home in my basement, okay. the more stuff i throw in that storage closet, the longer it's going to take it clean it out. in order to clean the my storage closet, i have to empty it. i have to put everything on my basement floor, and what do you think i'm going to have there? a huge mess. and then i sift through this and that, and i say, this is so important i'm going to keep this. this i don't need. i'm chucking it out the window. >> right, right. >> so, you know, it's very simple. that's the way i see what he's
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doin doing. anne's plan, anne's comparison. >> we have polling all of the time about what people think about the policies implemented by this administration. do you have a view on whether, for example, stimulus spending and the way you have seen it implemented, pass through congress, has been beneficial to the country? >> i can't comment on that because i don't know much about it. i can't comment. >> okay. >> like i said, i'm not a politician. i'm not a legislator. if you want a answer to these questions, i think you need to talk to somebody in politics. the lawmakers. they know about the laws. i don't. i know what i heard yesterday. >> okay, and you were happy with what you heard yesterday? >> i was. >> okay, anne. >> he's a great guy. hey, tony, can i say hi to my mother? >> and then say hi to your
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students. >> and katherine and lynne and justin and fairhill. >> those are some of your students right? >> yes. >> it was good to talk to you. >> thanks a lot, tony. >> it was different but it was good. >> it was different, wasn't it? >> different is okay. still to come, radio talk show host tom joyner is announcing a new initiative to enhance online education. next hour, 12:30 p.m. eastern time here on the cnn newsroom. you can see president obama's back-to-school speech at 9/:00 eastern. piggy: weeeeeee, weeeeeee, weeeeeee, weeeee weeeeeeee. mom: pix. ...maxwell! mom: you're home.
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you know, there have been almost 2,000 homicides in juarez, mexico. despite threats and violent crime, this week's cnn hero is determined to give the people there the medical care they need. >> juarez was a very nice place, and now nobody can go out. we have 51 working here. in this moment of crisis, people have to have a secure place where healing goes on. my name is guadalupe. i started the hospital de la
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family mealia in downtown juarez. i go there sometimes five times a week. we have been working there for 37 years with the community. every day we have have from 800 to 1,000 people. some of them can pay, some of them cannot pay, but we don't turn anybody away. i want the violence to stop. everybody's affected. people have become paralyzed by the fear. our hospital has not been touched. our doctors have not been kidnapped. this is a miracle of god, believe me, and everybody knows that's a place for heals, for loving, for empowering people. i believe that help is the most important of the human rights.
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life is all about empowering people, and it's very important to have an institution giving them hope for the future. >> okay. to see how the hospital has really grown and now treats an average of 900 patients a day or to help the hospital expand health care in mexico, go to cnnheroes.com. this just in, we have a statement in from nora shourd, sarah's mom. let me read a bit of it. i can only imagine how bittersweet her leaving must be. i oaf it to sarah, shaken and josh to keep pressing until they are all home free. >> all of our families are relieved and overjoyed that sarah has at least been released but we're also heart broken that shane and josh are still being denied their freedom for no just cause.
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let's get you caught up on top stories now. the end of an horrific ordeal for american hiker sarah shourd after being imprisoned in iran for over a year. iran's state-run tv reports shourd was release dad on $500,000 bail. shourd reportedly has health issues. her fiance and another companion will remain behind bars. an american man hunt underway for emile i don't luna,
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charged with distributing child pornography. police say he cut off his monitoring device and fled. raphael nadal can finally justify his number one rating. that's not true. he's a solid number one and has been for a while after finally completing a career grand slam, nadal won his first u.s. open championship monday night, defeating novak joke vish. if you have been working on losing weight, maybe you tried the popular diet drug meridia. the drug is now under review by the fda. >> for a long time now, the food and drug administration has been concerned that takes the diet drug meridia can make your blood pressure go uple. they found that when someone was on meridia, their risk to having
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a heart attack or stroke went up by 11%. on a placebo, it went up by 10%. you might say that's not much of a difference. let's take a look at what kind of weight loss results people got with meridia. what they found was that when someone weighs about 207 pounds and they go on meridia, they lose 10 pounds over the course of a year, so a 10 pound weight loss for someone who ways over 207 pounds, some people worry whether it's worth take, any risk for that kind of a weight loss. abbott labs says the italian study has problems with it, saying the people in the study already had heart problems, and people with heart problems shouldn't be using meridia. the fda will study whether the drug ought to come off the market or stay on with stronger warnings. in the mean tile, people taking meridia shouldn't panic.
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the drug isn't going to cause problems necessarily in the immediate sense. you should go to your doctor and talk to your doctor about whether this is the right drug for you. >> appreciate it. thank you. while we are bringing you news from around the world, we are watching what's hot online. >> check this out. she's 68, a grandmother, and she's been growing pot in california since the '70s. we'll be right back. you want some fiber one honey clusters? yeah. you must really care about him. what? you gave him fiber. this tastes way too good to be fiber. they're delicious crunchy clusters with sweet honey and half a day's worth of fiber. you care about my fiber? not really. [ male announcer ] fiber one. i've been looking at the numbers, and i think our campus is spending too much money on printing. i'd like to put you in charge of cutting costs.
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we tell you anything can happen in the cnn newsroom. and another example of that, this just in, the justice department expects to sue bp for damages from the deepwater horizon oil spill. according to a filing made monday night with the u.s. district court in new orleans, our senior correspondent allan chernoff will join us shortly with additional details. time now for cnn equals politics. mark preston is with the best political team in television. mark joins us live from washington, d.c. what is crossing right now, mark? >> reporter: well, tony, you know, we have accountants in congress, and lawyers and doctors. what we don't have represented in congress is wrestling executives, and right now, linda
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mcmahon is running for senate up in connecticut. in fact, right now, a new poll out this morning shows she is within six points of richard blumenthal, the democratic nominee. linda mcmahon says she can spend up to $50 million of her own money to win the seat. republicans hope to pick off the seat right now held by chris dodd, the democrat. john boehner is in the sights of the democratic national committee. the democratic national committee already has a television ad on air attacking john boehner and are going up with a second ad. let's listen to it. >> this november, john boehner wants to welcome you to boehner-land. get in the door for 37,000, jet across the country with lobbyists, pass out campaign checks from big tobacco on the house floor.
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>> reporter: there you are, tony. who is john boehner, a lot of people asking? he's the house republican leader. democrats are trying to villainize him and say he is too cozy with washington, and too cozy with lobbyists and doesn't care about working americans. democrats are trying to villainize him much like the republicans are trying to villainize nancy pelosi. this is your road map to the midterm elections. michelle bach man say she is the next sarah palin, a congresswoman from minnesota, raising lots of money, raising her national profile. she is in the cross hairs of democrats as well. there is a state senator by the name of terrell clark who hope they can knock her off. >> what a big day and week in politics. good to see you, and your next political update in an hour, and
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for the latest political news, you know where to go, cnnpolitics.com. >> big race for the mayor of washington, but is this primary really a vote on education reform? male announcer ] no one really wants plaque left on their teeth. done. [ male announcer ] but ordinary manual brushes can leave up to 50% of plaque behind. oral-b power brushes are inspired by the tools professionals use, to clean away plaque in. for that dentist-smooth, clean feeling every day. fight plaque with real power. oral-b power. get 50% off oral-b power brushes for a limited time. visit oralb.com for details. [ tires screech ] [ engine revving ] [ drums playing ] [ male announcer ] 306 horsepower. race-inspired paddle shifters. and f-sport-tuned suspension. all available on the new 2011 lexus is.
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it isn't real performance unless it's wielded with precision. [ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do, then you've got the wrong job. my landing was better than yours. no, it wasn't. yes, it was. was not. yes, it was. what do you think? take one of the big ones out? nah. you all want to run your businesses more efficiently,
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okay. let's get you an update on the breaking news this hour. the justice department expects to sue bp for damages from the deepwater horizon oil spill. allan chernoff has more from new york. >> reporter: toney, the justice department is saying it will sue bp. it made this filing last night. in this filing the justice department is saying it's likely to sue bp under the clean water act and also the oil pollution act. some of this legislation was established after the exxon valdez dent baaccident back in . and some can call for substantial damages. this court paper, up to $4,300 per barrel spilled in cases. talking lots of money. bp told cnn it has no comment.
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the company, as we know, has already set aside $20 billion to pay for the oil spill, and it has already sent washington checks for $390 million, but according to this court filing, tony it is very likely that the u.s. is going to seek further damages, and we're talking about not just environmental damages but potentially the loss of tax revenue. all sorts of economic damage here from that spill in the gulf. >> okay. allen, appreciate it. thank you. let's see a shot of the big board new york stock exchange? look at the numbers quickly here. okay. a positive morning so far. the dow up 31 points. anyone have a number on the nasdaq? the tech heavy nasdaq? wait for it, wait for -- it's not going to happen. we'll follow these numbers in the "cnn newsroom." for months the buzz words on wall street have been double dip recession. as summer begins to fade so is
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some of that negativity. alison kosik is on the floor of the new york stock exchange with details. alison, okay, what's changed here? >> reporter: you know, we're seeing a pattern here. that's positive. that pattern is that economic reports are getting better, tony. before your eyes glaze over understand this. the economic reports that investors get really give clues about how healthy the economy is and so far what we're getting lately shows that it's much more healthy than it was. we're going in the right direction. here is proof. manufacturing activity. that's picking up. initial jobless claims are falling. the trade gap narrows and retail sales have gone up the past two months. that's really good news to see that consumers are out there spending again. these positive reports aren't bringing much confidence here to wall street, especially the dow is up 5% for september. the nasdaq up 8% for the month as well. >> good stuff. alison, appreciate it. speaking of the nasdaq, up to date, 12, some of the stories we're working on the next hour of "cnn newsroom."
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frightening possibility could be california pipe line explosion be repeated in neighborhoods all over the country? josh lives takes a look at our aging pipeline system and how vulnerable we really are, and american soldiers battling injured in afghanistan are home from war. our barbara starr reunites with some of the men and hears their stories of survival.
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washington's mayor, adrian
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fenty swept into office in 2006 3r0 promising to fix public schools now he's in the fight of his career partly because of trying to reform the district's schools. >> good morning. all right. >> reporter: washington mayor adrian fenty is famous for taking on d.c.'s struggling schools. now he's in the fight of his career in part because of how he did it. neck and neck with challenger d.c. council chairman vincent gray. >> and uphill battle because we made tough conditions. we're continue to make those tough additidecisions because t right for the people. we're not naive. that cost us political popularity we came into the election with. >> reporter: brought in michelle ri as treasure, ushering in a change becoming a model add voe waited by the obama situation. >> we freed to see radical
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changes, because the outcomes for kids that are happening right now are robbing them of their futures. >> reporter: those changes include shutting down two buzzen schools, firing hundreds of educators, including more than 100 teachers over the summer for poor performance. overhauling the teacher valuation system linking it to student performance for the first time and pushing teacher merit pay. rhee admits there's a long way to go, test xwors have improved during her tenure and received a stamp of approval in federal dollars race for the top funds. now the tight prime marry e pri a close race. >> nationally how that plays out, reinforce this idea for politicians dramatic education reform is mutually exclusive with further erg your political career. >> good morning. >> reporter: voters in the city
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are split whether they will lent fenty stick around to find out. >> old teachers are no longer here. the school goes through change, an unprecedent number of children who still can't read. >> d.c. was terrible now they say it's not. >> reporter: arding to this debate is, recent polls indicate a racial divide over fenty and his leadership. according to a latest poll, vincent gray his challenger is leading by a 62% margin. fenty holding a 68-22% lead among white voters. ka kate bolduan, cnn, washington. hello everybody, tony harris. top of the hour. some of the people behind today's top stores. a hoar rick explosion. peoples and moments of panic captured on tape. we'll show you what happened, and dig deeper on whether america's aging natural gas pipe line system is safe.
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primaries battles, even if no one is voting today, this last round of primaries to affect whats in your state in november. you're online. following what's hot. >> kwharl careful what you put facebook. using internet status to rob homes. what about a week without twitter or facebook? one university is banning social media for one week, tony. >> thank you. let's get started with the lead story. a california utility is setting aside $100 million to help rebuild the neighborhood devastated by a gas explosion and fire, but the people of san bruno want more than money from pacific gas and electric they want answers about what caused the deadly blast. details from ted rollins. >> reporter: this gas station surveillance video shows the first moment of last thursday's explosion. watch closely as the man in the red vehicle gets out. first, you can see chunks of
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asphalt and debris, then a massive wall of flame shooting into the sky. with seconds, the fire grows larger. a woman carrying a baby runs across the street away from the flames, while others seem attracted to the blaze, some actually drive towards the fire. nobody knew what was going on. >> i thought a plane went down. okay? i ran half way up there, the fire was pretty bad. >> reporter: across the street as this grocery store they heard a strange hissing sound. watch as the sliding doors push in from the explosion. watch again in slow motion. the store quickly turns to chaos. people start running away from one of the exits while others desperately tried to get out of the store. still unanswered what caused this massive explosion. many people here are getting impatient waiting for answers. >> my kids play as that park now melted. these neighbors.
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you know. the woman down the block, my dog played with her dog and she'd dead. it's not fair. >> reporter: the investigation is centered on this section of pipe installed in 1948. did the gas company, pg&e, miss warning signs that something was wrong before the explosion? several people in this neighborhood say in the days leading up to the explosion, they smelled gas. one person even says he saw an talked to a pg&e crew about a gas leak. but pg&e says according to their records, since the month of july, they've only been here twice. >> in one instance, there was a small leak at the meter, which we replaced. fixed it right away, and in the second instance, there wasn't a leak found anywhere. >> reporter: we may never know if there was a second leak and if so whether or not it was associated with the explosion. the pipe itself was last inspected in march. keeping them honest we asked for the results of that inspection, but we were told they couldn't be provided, because of an ongoing investigation. we got the same response at a
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press conference. >> that is part of the ntsb investigation and i really cannot share the findings of that particular assessment. >> reporter: pg&e is taking responsibility setting up a $100 million fund for victims. this week they plan on giving everyone whose home was destroyed up to $50,000, no strings attached. they claim it's the right thing to do. what's still unclear is what pg&e may have done wrong and whether there's a chance it could happen again. ted rollins, cnn, san bruno, california. got a tell you that tragedy in san bruno raises questions about the safety of aging pipelines across country. josh levs has been checking in that. what are you finding? >> got to remind everyone how incredibly huge it is. this is your all-natural gas pipelines in the united states. you're seeing in the blue the interstate, the ones that go across different states. the red, intrastate ones that operate inside certain states like texas, oklahoma, arkansas, but you can see it's massive. in fact, show you the numbers
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then we'll talk about the dangers that go along with it. pipe lines in this country, 2.5 million miles worth of pipe lines in this country. enough to cross the earth 100 times. now, look at this. you're talking about three different things that go in these pipes that lie beneath us, hazard o hazardous emissions, and distribution pipelines. wei hear about them, see them all over the country. this is by far the majority. natural gas distribution. looking at the incidents involving danger. the number of significant incidents according to the transportation department, over 20er year, back to 1990, about 6 5,600. so clearly, it is problem and a concern. let's go to the pictures now. i also want to tell you the other side of it, which is the department of transportation says you know what? when you look at what it takes
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to move all of this massive volume of natural gas across the country, they say it is the safest, most cost effective system that there is. in fact, they specifically say when you compare it to other ways, forms of moving energy, like oil, by far this is one of the safest. another side of it. there are these concerns out there from many experts who look at this and say not enough is being done. one who joined us in the newsroom this morning. >> only 7% of these pipe lines, the pipeline mileage is actually required to be inspected under the 2002 law. we need not only to expand these area but a process for continuing to expand the pipe, the areas of pipe lane thline t positive be expected and with more rigor than they are today. >> a lot of people saying a lot more needs to be done. >> well, is anything being done to increase inspections right now, josh? >> a little bit.
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congress over the last couple of years upped the number of inspectors the federal government has. only in the mid-80s. going up to 100 now. more inspectors should come from the state. individuals-of-individual states and companies need to update that themselves. a little new technology. learning about this from the department of energy. let's get a shot of this. >> of course we can. >> this is called a sensor developed to develop defects in international gas pipelines and basically it's its own road that travels around and searches for potential defects. whether this will actual dloi it or not we don't know yet, the idea, a human operating, doing as much as we can. fortunately, a little robotic action as well. searching through pipelines some of which are ancient. decades old, searching for flaws that could potentially lead to disaster. >> let's use the technology where it's available. thank you. new developments in boulder,
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o cold co colorado today. a 71-year-old says there was a backyard fire apparently that wasn't fully extinguished and the fire burned 1 6 ho66 homes s contained. american hiker sarah shourd is finally coming home. she reportedly left tehran a little while ago on a charter plane. our mary snow has been covering this story for us. have we heard anything from the families? any kind of a statement? >> reporter: we have, tony. in the last hour we've heard from the families. you reported cnn confirmed that sarah shourd is on her way to amman in a charter plane. the family's released a lengthy statement saying, all of our families are relieved and overjied that sarah has at least been released but we're also
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matter broken that shane and josh are still being denied their freedom for no just cause. we applaud the iranian tharts for showing compassion in sarah's case and call on them to do the only right thing and release shane and josh immediately. shane, sarah and josh are all incident, and we -- earlier today speaking with sarah shourd's attorney, with her when the release papers were signed and he reported sarah was happy, smiling, but had wished that all three americans were being released together. all three americans were detained in july of 2009, as we now know they were hiking in iraq. they have been accused of spying. their families say if they crossed that unmarked border it was done so by accident. and you know what, tony? earlier today tehran's state run prosecutor told state-run television, bail had been set at
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$500,000. listen to what that translation was. >> translator: today the representatives of this lady accepted to bail her out. it was paid by the bank of iran. the money was paid there, and -- and they issued -- the judge issued the release order and ms. shourd was simply set free, and she can leave iran if she wants to. >> reporter: tony, there had been a lot of back and forth over the past couple of day, but that senior prosecutor in iran had cited sarah shourd's medical condition as one of the reasons she's been released. we know from the family she had a pre-existing condition and told her mother in recent months she had found a lump in her
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breast. tony? >> sarah shourd released from that iranian prison. still to come, today marks the campaign season's final round of primaries. trying to gauge strength of the tea party movement. first, random look in 90 seconds. i want to give my 5 employees health insurance,
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but i just can't afford it. i have diabetes. i didn't miss a premium payment for 10 years. and i'm worried if i lose my job, i won't be able to afford insurance. when i graduated from college, i lost my health insurance. the minute i got sick, i lost my insurance. not anymore. not anymore. not anymore. america's healthcare reforms change lives for the better. to find out how it can help you, visit us at americasfairhealthcare.org it's not just fair, it's the law.
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literally a parking lot out there. the blind traffic reporter, yes, gets you moving. it's the moments of the day. tommy edison can't see. he can't, but he's guiding connecticut commuters for almost two decades. he gets traffic details from police scanners and calls from radio listeners. edison likes to shock people by being so normal. >> why is if that just because i'm blind i have to sit home or panhandle in front of grand central station, manhattan? you know what i mean? i don't think i'd be able to land a 747 at laguardia on runway 2 but generally can do most things everybody else can do and that's what this is all about. >> a producer is making a documentary and shopping it around on the networks. remember, you saw him first at the "random moment of the day." earn a free night! two separate stays at comfort inn or any of these choice hotels can earn you a free night -- only when you book at choicehotels.com.
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a tea party favorite and a gop candidate locked in a tight race pap longtime congressman
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battles ethics charges. it is primary day in seven states in the district of columbia, and we are spotlighting the hot races to watch. cnn producer shannon travis joins us live from the site of one of those races in delaware. good to see you. delaware and new hampshire really topping our list, because of what we like to call the tea party factor. you've been covering the tea parrot for a while. how is this movement a factor where you are? >> reporter: it's a factor, because the tea party movement is coming into literally one of the bluest states in the country. and could actually make an impact there. definitely getting a lot of buzz right now, because of this endorsement's christine o'donnell, conservative candidate and slamming congressman mike castle. so the tea party is a sign of another bold move by the tea party movement that they're not just focusing on red states they think they can win and even coming in, some might say,
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infiltrating, blue straights. they're having impact. >> shannon, we know tea party activists have little out for democrats. what we're pulling together, discussing here, another example of the tea party activists going after republicans like we saw in alaska. >> reporter: that's right. i was in alaska a few weeks ago covering that race between joe miller and senator lisa majkowski. a lot of the activists i talked to called it a rhino hunt, and mike castle, congressman castle, is taking heat. take a listen at what he told our brian todd earlier. >> was lisa murkowski's loss in alaska a wake-up call for you? >> well, it was an added wake-up call. we had watched some of these elections around the country and saw what was going on. actually received a call from lisa at the election say, mike, you need to be prepared. they are going to come at you
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hard. >> reporter: they will come at you hard. listen to those words that congressman castle said about at least from senator majkowskimaj advice about the tea party. labeling him a liberal, a rubber stamp for the obama administration. a race decided later on today. >> you're right, shannon. we'll follow you throughout the day. shannon travis for us. and charles rangel in the toughest fight of his political career. rangel faces five challengers, including the son of late congressman adam clayton powell. the past re-election has been a slam dunk for rangel. this time he is also facing an ethics charge in the house later this year. igor the only other hurricane in the atlantic. julia upgraded. chas myers tracking both when we come back here in the "cnn newsroom." just one bite ope wod delight... ♪
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♪ a flavor paradise of delicious fishes ♪ ♪ friskies seafood sensations. ♪ feed the senses.
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okay. check in with chad myers. igor, category 4 and julia is starting to make noise. is flis the international space station? >> absolutely. looks like the bottom of the world. doesn't it? >> it. >> does like it's in antarctica. no up and down in space. all three dimensional, right? my son wants to know, the people in china, how do they stay on the world because they should be upside-down, wouldn't they fall off? >> oh, you're only 5. i got to figure that one out. hold on. get that in a little bit. igor, category 4, 135 miles per hour. what a storm. it was 150 yesterday. i don't know how you tell the difference, other than the tops were more purple. the purple is coming back in. maybe 135 will be upgraded to 140, 145 later on. what you might know. the most important thing. draw a line as much as i can
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east to west. notice how it's come off that east to west line. it finally made that wobble to the north, that turn we wait for. it's going to turn, going to turn, going to turn. you go, really, really, really? finely it did. the problem is, can't see it. under that, too, is bermuda. literally under the 2, at 105 miles per hour on sunday bermuda could be making some direct landfall hit here with igor. we always say, it has to turn left to get to the u.s., turn right to hit the u.s. it has to turn left or right to miss bermuda at this point. we'll watch. something else could make landfall in the riviera maya. i love this place. cancun here. you get cozumel, and all the way down forz belize a lovely beach area here and this could be the next tropical depression that could come through, if it could get a name it would be karl. how carl?
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a c? no. karl with a k, k-a-r-l, that's how we get rid of julia. now a hurricane at 85 and looking impressive. realize that's africa. way over here, this is just the edge of the other one here. you know? so igor is still over here. way, way out and still forecast to turn to the right. like we hope they always do. >> they're training, aren't they? one wave after another and another and over in, and that's the season. >> if there woen wouldn't be an lotion, we'd be having a flood warning. you can't really flood the ocean. and big damps from the largest oil spill in u.s. history. attorney told district attorney? new orleans it might see claims under the oil pollution act. potential for huge penalties. voters are headed to the polls in seven states, new
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hampshire delaware candidates threaten to upset those favored by established republicans. too many teen, getting high on things in their own medicine cabinets. the dea now wants parents to get involved.
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wow. get you to cnnmoney.com. the lead story here, the ceo of intel saying the stimulus didn't work that the obama administration has to do more to get the economy back on track. more stimulus spending? something else? if you want the answers to those
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questions and much more go to cnnmoney.com. our money team doing a trick job. why obama doesn't get it. wow. okay. let's get you to the big board. new york stock exchange now. still trading in positive territory. you can see here up 35 points. nasdaq -- see, three hours into the trading day. it's up 15. something i want to bring your attention to. mixing a cough medication with a prescription drug. what one in ten teens are doing to get high with dangerous results. some are actually dying or getting sick off the over-the-counter cocktails. is it time the fda got involved? senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen reports. >> reporter: carl hennen was your all-american teen. good looking, talented and popular. but carl had a secret. for much of his high school years he was getting high on over-the-counter cough syrup. his mother, misty, a registered nurse, always talked to him about the effects of drugs and
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alcohol but never thought to talk to him about cough suppressants until she tried to wake him unone morning and couldn't. >> unfortunately, i found him, in his bed, and at that point it was too late. >> reporter: that was in 2003. since, she's been on a mission to make sure other parents are aware that over-the-counter cough medicines can be abused. when she first discovered empty bottles of the stuff in her home it never occurred to her carl might be doing something dangerous. on the day he died had hit her. what triggered his death was sitting right there in her medicine cabinet. >> it's inexpensive. the kids don't have to have a scary drug dealer to obtain it. >> reporter: according to the partner for drug-free america, 8%, 1.3 million teens reported abusing over-the-counter cough see presents over the past year. the ingredient in the medicine that creates the high is known at dextromethorphan or dex, it's found in all sorts of products on drug shore shelves. when you take a lot of it it
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creates euphoria and can raise your body temperature, your blood pressure and your heart rate, and then if it's mixed with other drugs, it can kill you. dex-related emergency room visits increased more than 70% from 2004 to 2008. so the drug enforcement ministration is asking for help. they want advice from the fda whether to make products like nyquil, robitussin available by prescription only. some say this is going overboard. >> when you've got inhalant abuse four times higher, marijuana abuse many, many times higher, compared to other drugs of abuse, this is not the most serious threat facing a lot of families. >> reporter: cough medicine makers say their products help millions of people and should stay over the counter, and parents are the key to curbing abuse. >> many parents did not talk to their children but we know that parents who do talk to their children have a 50% decrease in using drugs.
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>> reporter: missy agrees. she says restricting these to prescription only probably won't help. >> it might be you know a short-term quick fix. so it's the access is still there. >> reporter: elizabeth cohen, cnn reporting. >> he is the host with the most. tom joyner wants to bring higher education to the masses. back in a moment. you're in the "cnn newsroom."
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pictures, information, insight you won't find anywhere else. "cnn newsroom" with tony harris. talk show host and entrepreneur tom joyner launching a business promoting higher education among african-americans. hbcus online a support system for african-americans to enroll at colleges and universities. tom joyner live from dallas is the king of all media. someone else claims that title, but, tom, good to see you. how are you, sir? >> doing good. how are you doing, t. harris? >> rockin' it! what are you responding to with this offering? is it what some described as an exodus of african-american students to online colleges like the university of phoenix? what's the rationale for this project? >> okay. well, i started with this idea probably about seven years ago.
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remember when morris brown right there in atlanta -- >> absolutely. >> that's when i came up with the idea. >> yeah. >> right, right. my idea at the time was to buy morris brown, take it out of debt, put it for-prompt and online and then return it to the church after about 20, 25 years. but the church didn't actually see it that way. so we -- i said, because it was very evident then that although enrollment at historically black colleges had been dropping each year, african-americans have not stopped trying to get a higher education. more and more everyone recognizes that in order to get somewhere in this life, in this economy, you have to have a degree. >> yes. >> so the university of phoenix has been going strong for a long, long time, and not just the university of phoenix, but, you know, there's kaplan, the other, but by far the number one is the university of phoenix.
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did you know they have over half a million students? >> i did not. >> half a million students. >> wow. >> and almost one-third of those half a million students are african-americans. mostly 25 years and older. so the market was right there. >> yes. sounds like it. is it that students, you mentioned that so many are leaving the brick and mortar universities. is it that students today need more of an education that fits their lives better? >> right. i mean, gone are the days, tony when, you know, you get out of high school. you choose a college. you go away to school for four years. you might do some grad work, and then you get into the workforce and everything is lovely. that just doesn't happen. most people, if they finish, they have to piece their degrees together. >> uh-huh. >> and historically black colleges have always been known, from their inception, to take a student, care for them, nurture
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them, you know, make it so that they are equipped for success in this world. >> yes. >> and that's what we're doing with hbcu's online dotcom. if you're thinking about getting an education, if you're thinking about getting a degree and thinking about online, think about getting it from a black college. when you go a black college, and you will be a student at one of our colleges, we have two colleges right now, hampton and texas sub. there are 105 historically black colleges in existence and we're not going to stop until we help all of them, but when you register with us, you become a student of that college. you become a pirate of hampton university. you become a tiger of texas sub and you become that student, and you know like i know, when you find somebody who graduated from an hbcu, it's a different kind of confidence, a different kind of swagger, a different kind of
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leadership, a spirit of success just goes with them, that they were inbread when they went to this historically black college. so we're going to do that virtually. >> right. so if the students don't have the time to attend the traditional classes and the brick and mortar university, why would they have time to participate in an online hbcu experience as great as that might be? because that hbcu experience is about that community that you just described. isn't it? >> and we're going re-create that community, too. we'll even have -- you know, in every black college campus, tony, there's a place where all the students gather called the yard. >>ed yard. yes. >> and we have that on our website. we re-created the yard. re-created the student union. the social networking and we have advocates who will, unlike other online universities, we
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have advocates, counselors, that are going to hold your hand from registration to graduation. at these others, these other virtual online institutions, they register you. they worry you to death to get registered and pretty much leave you a loan and you're there studying in your underwear and in tons and tons of debt. >> you know what -- >> you're in a lot of debt and it's boring, and you probably won't finish. >> all right. one more -- >> probably won't finish. the retention rate for the university of phoenix is 16%. only 16% of their students graduate. >> all right. i want you to be successful with this, tom. what do you do about the hbcu that wants to participate but doesn't necessarily have the necessary infrastructure you just described? >> we help them build that out. >> my question. help them build it out?
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>> we help them build that out. we help them with their content, with their infrastructure, with their faculty. we train them. becoming an online -- having an online degree with a whole lot of capacity is more than just a notion. that's why my team, my team has invested so much time and money to get these schools ready. that's why we've taken so long to go up with think, because we want to make sure that the schools are ready, and not only the schools, but the students are ready. we're going to counsel students, make sure that this is the right step for them. no pressure here. we're not -- no pressure here, because -- you may not be ready to learn with -- you may not know how to learn when you're going online education. you may not know thousand learn. may not know how to teach, but hbcu's online.com is, we help the student prepare for
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learning. we help the school prepare for teaching. >> okay. tom, we're going to follow it. okay? you're launching in january. correct? >> we are registering now for january classes. >> terrific. >> we launch today. today is our launch day. >> congratulations. >> we are hbcuonline. >> good to see you, doctor. we'll talk about again, i'm sure. thanks, tom. and say hello to the rest of your team for us. 30 minutes from now president obama speaks to the nations school children urging students to make the most of their education. according to a text of the speech, he will tell them "your life is what you make of it." and nothing absolutely nothing is beyond your reach." this is his second back-to-school speech. his first last year met with skepticism from conservatives thought he would push his political agenda.
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that proved unfounded and received praise from both parties for delivering a positive message on education. this just in -- new information from the white house regarding the american hiker released from iran. suzanne malveaux is live in philadelphia suzann? >> reporter: tony, just got this on my blackberry from the white house. from the president himself talking about the release of sarah shourd. want to read quickly. about two paragraphs or so but he says, i am very pleased that sarah shourd has been released by the iranian government and will soon be united with her family. all americans join with her courageous mother and family in celebrating her long awaited return home. we are grateful to the swiss. imam and other friends and allies around the world who worked tirelessly and avidly over the past several months to bring about this joyous reunion and goes on to say while sarah is released, shane and josh remain prisoners in iran, committed no crime. we remain hopeful iran will
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demonstrate renewed compassion by ensuring the return of shane, josh and the other missing or detained americans in iran. he goes on to say, we salute the courage and strength of shourd, bauer and the fattal families who endured the unimaginable loss of their loved ones and gained strength and resolve and will continue to do everything we can to secure the release of their loved ones. making it very clear from the very beginning this is not bargaining with any type of terrorists or government that we would be taking american citizens, that there is not this kind of quid pro quo so to speak but something that must be handled in a humanitarian and diplomatic fashion, certainly not a political one but the white house making it very clear he are pleased with this latest development, that this is good news and certainly hope for the return of the other two. >> absolutely. our white house correspondent suzanne malveaux traveling with the president in philadelphia today. appreciate it. thank you. take a break. you're in the "cnn newsroom."
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the fbi is searching for a phoenix area pediatrician on the run today after a grand jury indicted him for child pornography. our report from affiliate knxb.
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. >> i don't know why anyone would want to indulge in child pornography. i think it's horrible. >> reporter: dr. emilio luna's arrest shocked his neighbor and co-worr workers and parents at his pediatric office. accused of sharing thousands of files of child porn online. >> if he did do it, he should never be allowed to be with, be around children again. >> reporter: but a judge did allow him to be around children before a trial. he waseneder house confinement with an electronic monitoring device but allowed to go to this glendale church. the judge made the discussion because he had no krill knap record and not considered a flight risk. >> i have to wonder at the treatment given to criminals, particularly ones that would go after children. >> reporter: a family member called investigators when he didn't come back and detectives found his abandoned vehicle.
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inside, bolt cutters and his cut-off ankle monitor. initially a statement released saying, obviously as pediatricians we are disgusted by the allegations against every belief we as pediatricians hold dear. >> i want him caught. who knows what he's going to do next. >> reporter: while the fbi says dr. luna has homes in texas, california and illinois, agents say he could also be in mexico where he was born. it is a powerful primary day across the nation. k cnn is the place to watch. sure i'd like to diversify my workforce,
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i just wish that all of the important information was gathered together in one place.
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time now for your cnn equal it's politics update. senior congressional correspondent dana bash is with the best political team on television. dana joining us live from d.c., and what's crossing right now? >> reporter: what's going on in really one of the big stories ever the ticker this hour what you see right here nap is that the united states congress is back in session. one-third of the senate where i am and all of the house, they are back, up for re-election, they back to talk about the policies that they are going to push forward legislatively for the next three weeks while they're temporarily back from the campaign trail pup see the hustle and bustle behind me. there's republican senator byrd there, all sessions going on in meetings as we speak primarily about the tax cut debate and whether or not, how there can be
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an extension from the tax cuts and how republicans can try to force democrats to have a look. most don't want to have, which is to extend all the bush tax to senator russ feingold, tony, one of those democrats that went home not thinking he was going to be a problem in terms of re-election campaign but during the summer it looked like, looks like he is going to have a tough rates. i ran into him. he says that the democratic base is doing better. he says he feels better, but he has a tough race and he is one of those that democrats are waging. waging. everybody is waging here, tony what is going on in delaware. an interesting conversation, on the ticker as well with the head of the republican committee to elect republican senators, john corn 9:00.
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and doubts whether christine o'donnell, the tea party candidate up there can actually win and admitted if republicans have any chance of winning back the majority where i am now in the senate that is, in his words, a linchpin. if she wins they'll have to have a quote/unquote powwow whether they would pull resources from delaware. they were really loping to win. one other thing to tell you about. i've been on the campaign trail. we've seen nancy pelosi is the boogeyman when it comes to republicans run against democrats. they use her name in every other breath to try to link their democrats to her and she now has a pretty tough web ad gone viral from her opponent john dennis. no chance of winning, but he has an ad portraying her as the wicked witch of the west. this is tougher than we've seen for sure. spokesman jane kreider said, how silly, lions and tigers and bears.
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oh, my. >> good stuff, dana bash, thank you. and for the latest political news you know where to go. cnnpolitics.com. grandma's got a brand new bag. a dime bag. oh -- boy, it's one of our stories. back in a moment. that's just wrong.
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so the e-mail nation has spoken and they want to see handling top stories without me. i get in the way. here we go. what's hot? >> what's hot? on cnn.com, a pot-growing grandma in california. growing pot since 1970s. been growing it and dispensing it in california and this piece done by our writer producer elliott mclaughlin. she doesn't want to it be identified. take a listen to what she said about growing pot in her garden. >> we've done very well, because nobody tells on anybody else. you know? and nobody let's in an outsider because they're going to be a fed. and once the feds come in, it's no good. they bust the big growers or
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in-door growers or people who are hiding their pot. so my here tosy, grow it in the open. >> now she's says she mixes it with other plants, like squash and everything else. you can check out the whole story on cnn.com. we'll be right back. you're watching "cnn newsroom."
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we first introduced to three som jers after being seriously injured in a massive iud bombing
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in afghanistan. barbara starr reunites with them to see how they're recovering here at home. >> reporter: i don't know if you remember meeting me. >> i do. >> reporter: can i say hi. how are you? >> pretty good, ma'am. >> reporter: i don't want to hug too tight. >> i'm good, ma'am. >> reporter: i first met private first class miguel garcia, specialist aaron knuckles and staff sergeant benjamin mcguire on stretchers wounded in a massive ied blast in afghanistan, they were making the journey home. now up and around back at fort campbell, kentucky, home of the 101st airborne division. we economchecked in to see how can doing. mcguire the worst injured. a shattered jaw. >> i came, started to come around as they were pulling me out of the truck the rest of wait. >> i saw him, they pulled him out of the truck. it looks like someone had just
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slit his throat. he was -- that cut underneath his jaw. just -- it was a nightmare. >> reporter: the men initially thought they had been separated by the blast. >> horrible. >> yeah. >> i didn't know where garcia was. the worst thing about it, nobody would tell me what was going on. how's mcguire? all i was yelling. no one would actually tell me he was okay. >> reporter: still a bit of humor when he look at their trip home, when they were all still on heavy doses of pain medication. >> morphine talk right there. >> reporter: now we learn more about what the men had been through. garcia the gunner, knuckles then joined the team. >> the very first time with us on patrol, when he joined our crew, on our truck, actually had an ambush that day, on a route heading north in our sector, and our truck was hit on that day.
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so i jumped said you're not allowed to be our driver any more. >> reporter: knuckles was driving july 12th had hit by the ied that made them brothers in arms forever. >> i was worried about rolling off the cliff we on. where we were at was not a good spot to be hit. they planned to do blow us off the side of the mountain. it they could have rolled us over two feet further, we would have rolled down about 3,000, 2,000, 3,000-foot drop-off. >> reporter: on that mountain, no washington policy or politics, a friendship under fire, that these men say will last forever. day to day is really not about what washington says? it's about your buddies? >> i don't care about politics, ma'am. they tell me where go and i just make sure, i try to take care of them as much as i can. that's what i do. >> reporter: you feel the same way? >> i know without a doubt these guys would die for me just like

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